Criminal Justice

Pittsburgh Lawyer Faces Assault Charges in Attack on Son of His Former Law Partner

A Pittsburgh lawyer is facing assault charges for an alleged attack on the son of his longtime friend and former law partner.

Police said John L. Elash, a veteran criminal defense lawyer known for a sometimes-volatile temper, will be charged with simple assault and terroristic threats, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Elash reportedly got into a confrontation Monday with Thomas DePasquale, the son of Elash’s longtime friend and former partner James E. DePasquale.

Thomas DePasquale said that Elash walked into his father’s office, choked him, bit him, tried to gouge his eyes and hit him repeatedly in the face after a dispute over a computer monitor. Thomas DePasquale manages his father’s office. Elash, who is semi-retired, maintains a desk and a telephone there.

Elash also warned the younger DePasquale that he would be “dead” the next time they saw each other, according to the police report.

“I was scared to death. I thought he was trying to kill me,” DePasquale was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Elash’s lawyer, Phillip DeLucente, described the encounter as a “family dispute” and a “huge misunderstanding.” He said Elash was like an uncle to the younger DePasquale.

Updated on May 24 to fix a mistake in a quote by DePasquale.

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